To Throw or to Eat?

Sometimes when we buy packaged tomato paste or cheese, we often wonders how old is too old? Even for those leftover pizza, rice and biscuits – we often question whether we can still eat them or not after a period of time. Because of doubt, most of the time I throw out more stuff that I should have.

So here’s a guide on whether your stored food is still good to munch or not:

  1. Bread, cheese and tomato paste: the basic principle is that if they’re already mouldy, throw it right away to the bin. Moulds can damage your liver, kidneys and immune system since they produce toxins. So don’t risk it, especially for your loved ones. For hard cheeses, you can cut around 1 cm around the mould and if it’s clean from the mould, you can still use the cheese.
  2. Leftover pizza or baked pasta: if you leave the pizza and pasta out over overnight, throw it! But if you manage to refrigerate it 2 hours after it’s baked than you can reheat and eat it for the day after.
  3. Cooked rice: don’t we all always have leftover rice? I love to cook fried rice from leftover rice for breakfast (and I only do this during the weekend if you ever wonder). Cooked rice often contains bacteria and surprisingly even after cooking, the spores can survive. Sadly, Indonesian tends to let the rice cools slowly so there’s no choice but to throw it away if you can’t eat it during that day. Cooked rice which is cooled slowly can grow and produce toxin so even reheating the rice won’t help to salvage it. If you save the rice in an airtight container and refrigerate it as soon as you finish cooking it, then you can get yourself a leftover rice for your fried rice for the next morning.
  4. Dried herbs: I have plenty of these, and I often wonders after months (or maybe years?) whether they’re still good or not. Good news is, since it’s already dried it’s safe to eat but it may loose some flavour and you might even need to put plenty more!

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